Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cute Ev talk

Today Ev had a lot of cute talking moments. He told me that he said "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" for his owie to feel better. Cute. He is working on memorizing all his favorite books. When he knows the words, he turns around on my lap and puts his hand over my mouth before I can read the page, looks me in the eyes, and says quite seriously, "Don't tell me." Then, he proceeds to try to read the page on his own. It's so fun to watch kids learn our language!


We have lived through our 2nd week of soccer. It is really fun, but now I understand why so many moms always told me they could join my parties after soccer was over. It really takes up a lot of time! It has been so much fun to see how happy my kids are on the soccer field. On the first game, Scotti laughed the entire time he was in the game! His smile was so big it made me smile too. Cooper was thrilled with the whole thing too, and neither one of them can stand to not have the ball. We are going to have to do some work on things like passing the ball, and not trying to get the ball from your own team mate! Sammi, who only joined the team for fear that she would miss some pretty great snacks, was delighted to find out that she absolutely loves soccer. She had so much fun on her first game and kept acting so surprised that it was fun! She loved it so much, however, that she had to be drug off the field at the beginning of the 2nd game and had to spend the rest of the game in the car because she refused to come off the field when it was time to put someone else in. All the way to the car her fit was full throttle, "I'm never playing soccer again! I hate soccer!" I'm not at all worried about her saying she doesn't like soccer though, because this morning when she came down for breakfast I told her to come over and have some french toast for breakfast. She replied that she didn't like french toast and that I needed to find her something else to eat. 30 minutes later, I invited her back over for some french toast for breakfast and she replied, "Yes! I love french toast!" I'm hoping it's just a phase.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another Ev Story

Tonight at Cooper's soccer game, Ev kept asking me if I had a snack for him. I told him that no I had absolutely no food at all. Once he was convinced I really had no food, he asked, pointing to a guy (and stranger) down the field, "What about that guy over there? Could he get me a snack?"

Leaf Crowns

Today Sammi got out her art kit and asked me if we could create something just the two of us from her art kit and nature. I was busy pruning a bush and told her that if she came up with an idea I'd help her in any way I could. She came back to me with some ribbon, leaves, and her little stapler and asked me to staple these leaves on the ribbon to make a crown. Cute idea! Of course, I had to make one for each of the boys too, except Ev who said "No thanks. I don't feel much like being a king today."

By the way, Ev's favorite word is "totally." He includes it as often as he can. Today I served him canned chili for dinner and here was our conversation:

Ev: "Mom, did you totally make this?"
Me: "Yes."
Ev: "It is totally delicious! I totally love it."
Me: "Thanks."
Ev to other kids: "You guys should totally try this delicious dinner. Mom made it herself!"

Note: Last night I made a delightful vegetable soup out of vegetables grown only in our yard and all the kids thought it was gross (except Coop, who usually eats everything but milk.) I guess I need to learn how to make canned chili.

First Day of Preschool

Cooper started preschool yesterday and man was he excited! He is going to the school he went to last year, so he feels very comfortable there and told me he was going to help all the new kids feel comfortable there on their first day. He told me that if any of them needs to go potty, he'll show them where to go and how to wash their hands and use a paper towel to dry off with. He was worried that he was going to have to drink milk for snack because he has a new teacher who doesn't know that he doesn't like milk. That cute kid just walked right into school and gave me a kiss and said goodbye. He's just such a sweetheart!

Tumwater Falls

Last weekend, we hiked around Tumwater Falls. It is a gorgeous park in the middle of Olympia where you follow the Deschutes River over waterfalls and watch water trickle into the river as well. It is so fun to have such beautiful things right in the middle of the city. There are so many sanctuaries like this in Olympia. I just love this city. Also, the Salmon are starting to run, so the river was full of them. That was a highlight!


We went to the Tacoma Zoo last weekend and had such a great time! The kids absolutely loved feeding the Budgies there, so I thought I'd put their pictures up. I highly recommend getting a pass to the zoo wherever one lives. We never feel that we have to visit the entire zoo in a day, so we get to really sit and appreciate the exhibits they have and find ways to spark curiosity and learning when we go there--not just for the kids, for all of us! We all have more fun. Plus, zoo passes usually get you into lots of other places too. Especially other zoos and aviaries.

Blackberry Festival!

Over Labor Day, we had a blackberry festival at our house! Our family went to the blackberry patch near our house and picked as many blackberries as we could muster. Then, we went home and got busy making our feast for our friends who were coming for the Blackberry Festival. We served salmon (caught by Grant the day before) with Blackberry sauce, a blackberry spinach salad with blackberry viniagrett, rolls with blackberry butter, and for dessert, what else? Blackberry pie. We had such a fun time putting it all together. It may be the beginning of a fun tradition at the Jacksons! By the way, the blackberries were delicious, but the highlight of the day was most certainly the fun we had with the friends that came that day.

First Day of Kindergarten!

Yes, that's right. Sammi and Scotti started kindergarten Sept. 1st. I can't believe it. They were absolutely thrilled and Scotti was mad at me because he wanted me to stay in the car and let him walk in to his class by himself. I admit that I was teary for a good 10 minutes after I left them--you know, a good bawl about my little babies and how grown up they are and how I don't even know what is going to go on in their day today and I've know about virtually every thing they have done until now. Then, there certainly was a freedom when I realized that daily life is much easier when you have only two at home instead of four! I can actually go grocery shopping with only two kids now! I can barely take the liberation. I am having to adjust my parenting for the hole left by the kindergartners. I'm starting to find ways to pay back Cooper and Everett for those first years in their lives where they only got whatever attention I could spare them, instead of whatever attention they deserved and needed. Poor boys. Kindergarten is 2 1/2 days a week and I think all parties involved are pretty thrilled with it!

Sammi is so cute. She has been painting pictures and leaving them up in places around the house where they can best make her family happy. Isn't that sweet of her? Here are her pictures on the door as you go out to the garage and the door the my bedroom. She often leaves little notes or pictures under Grant's or my pillow too. Often, there will be a small treat with the note too: a starburst or a few marshmallows or something.

Whole Hog

This highly unattractive picture of me is meant to show to you that we have adjusted well to the small town life of rural Washington and have bought ourselves our first pig. That's right. We bought an entire pig (raised by our dear friend Lovena), had it slaughtered, and put it in a new freezer we bought just for the occasion. We now have pork to last us all year. I know you are wondering... Yes. It does taste better than the pork I bought at the store. How cool is it that I own my own hog?

Pony Rides

We had a really fun time at the Olsen's house a couple of weeks ago getting a pony ride from Cricket. The kids all piled onto the cart and went for a fun ride through the woods that is the Olsen's backyard. It was such great fun! Sammi has been drawing an endless supply of pictures of Cricket ever since! This is one thing I love about living in Elma. It's normal to have a friend who can give your kid a pony ride!

Jacksons Meet: The Jacksons!

In August, Grant's little brother Jeremy and his family came to stay at our house. We had such a great time! They were such fun! The kids played at our house and messed around Lake Sylvia. It all started with a fascinating couple of days at Mt. St. Helens. All the kids loved seeing how the whole side of the mountain just fell off! It was fun to see them actually understand what happened that day.

Back in Elma, we all went to Lake Sylvia (where the kids got in the water despite the 50 degree weather!) and played at my house. The kids, dirty and cold from their Lake Sylvia adventure, took the biggest bubble bath I have ever seen. They were absolutely covered in bubbles! It was truly unbelievable. Afterward, a little TV was in order in my bed (as per the picture shown here!)

We had a great time combing Rialto Beach and looking for the largest trees in the world (which, by the way, are an unbelievable experience!) We drove around Forks looking for sights from the book and movie Twilight and then rented the movie a couple of days later. It was really fun to see our Northwest highlighted in a movie!

We had a delightful day picking blueberries and cooking them up into a blueberry festival too.

We stayed a couple of nights in a cozy cabin at Mount Rainier to end the trip and we got to hike through all the old growth rainforests and work on Junior Ranger badges. Sadly, Mount Rainier didn't show itself that day, but the wildflowers on its hillside were spectacular! Truly an experience to come back for!

We love Jer and Joni, Cate, Josh, and Heidi. Come back soon!

The Joy of the Youngest

So growing up I always just thought, "Come on parents! We all know that the youngest child often gets spoiled, so now that we are educated, we can change things for the youngest in our own families!" Well, that was before I had this little darling to dote on. How am I ever going to let this child grow up?

Hiking Club!!

This summer, one of our favorite things was hiking club, organized by one of our other favorites Kristin Doyle. We hiked (almost) every Tuesday morning with other moms and their preschoolers. We hiked to Mima Mounds, Lake Sylvia, Schafer State Park, Priest Point Park, and lots of others. What a fun thing to do with preschoolers!

Monday, September 14, 2009

24th of July in SLC!

We had such a fun 24th of July. In SLC, this is Pioneer Day, where they celebrate the day the Pioneers came into the Salt Lake Valley and Brigham Young declared, "This is the place!" for the Mormon settlers to settle. We started with the parade with Aunt Rosemary. The floats and bands were the favorite, along with the no-melt popsicles at Rosemary's afterward. The kids were also stunned by a performance of the cheerleaders from Utah State, which they did just for us in the park!

We ended the night with our first professional soccer game with the Beckstrands and my great friend Stacey Ford: The SL Real. We had such a great time. All the kids loved the game, and though Sammi was traumatized by the fireworks afterward, everyone was on cloud nine when we left. Scotti made me promise to let him go down and stand on the grass where the soccer players were. The game was especially fun to me. I had no idea I was such a soccer fan. The excitement of a goal or a good block was almost more than I could handle. Such a great high for me. I love those things.

Snowbird with Jacksons

When in SLC in July, we had a fun day at Snowbird with the Jacksons. Scotti did some rock climbing, and we all got to do the alpine slide. Since I was there without Grant, all the kids found loved ones to go with. They had a great time. It was so beautiful up there in the mountains, but since my kids had just arrived to the desert, we all had climate shock! We couldn't take the heat. I seriously never gets to be too hot here in Elma. That desert just beat us that day I tell you! We loved the tram and especially our family.

We also got to stay with Grandma Janet & Grandpa Kelly, which was really fun. Those two have a fabulous hotel, I tell you. We had a great time miniature golfing with Grandma Janet, too. Cooper got a whole in one and was intent on getting another one the rest of our time there. Sammi was more interested in the turquoise water than in finishing the last few holes. Funny kid.

Fun with Grandma Bird in July!

My highlight of being in Salt Lake City this summer was the time I got to spend with my Grandma Bird. I wish I could have spent a couple of more days with her. A few of us cousins got together at the last minute and went over to visit Grandma when I first got there, and some of us go to have a fun luncheon with her a few days later. Talk about a woman who has blessed my life. I love you Grandma.

Newport Beach with Beckstrands!

Just thought I'd do a little summer catching up here, and blog about our fun trip to the beach with my extended family this July. Wow, did we ever have a good time. The kids were in absolute heaven with cousins to play with every moment. The boys loved the Razors (scooters) that cousins brought with them and rode them whenever they could. Everett woke up every morning asking for Aunt Ann-Marie (man-ma-me) to take him to the donut store. He woke up and ran in her room and announced to her, while she was still in bed, that he woke up! Sort of like, "Let's go Man-Ma-Me!" Once I told him that I would take him to the donut store and he told me that he didn't want to go with Man-Ma-You, he wanted to go with Man-Ma-Me!!! Funny. Cooper, as always, loved to lay around on the sand. Didn't ever care if there was sand all over the place at all. Scotti's favorite thing was playing football, baseball, soccer, etc. endlessly on the beach. So many sports, so many athletes. So thrilling to Scotti! Sammi loved her big girl cousins. They were the best because they payed her all the attention she could ever want. She also loved the waves.

We also went to Disneyland for the first time. Here is a picture of Grant and the kids on the train there. Our kids loved it. It was especially fun because we did it with the Beckstrands who we just absolutely love to pieces. We never could have survived Disneyland without them, honestly. We all had a great time. Grant loved the time with the kids, and I loved the time with all my brothers and sisters. Such a great family!